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  • fair trade beads????

    I've been looking everywhere for fair trade beads... i never realised how complicated it all is and how much there is to consider... even places that claim their beads are fairly traded don't seem totally sure... and the only places i've found that guarantee fair trade seem to be in america!

    I've been googling all over the place - does anyone know anything about this area? Do you know where I can find some fair trade beads in the UK?

    I've been thinking a lot about the ethical concerns of my business lately, I'm trying to go all recycled paper with my cards and picking up bits of old jewellery to pick apart and recycle but it'd be great to find some kind of ethical craft supplies supplier.

    portfolio: www.suzielda.co.uk

    buy online: www.mooart.com

  • #2
    Hi

    I remember seeing two small companies at bead fairs.

    I looked them up and the first one is www.mzuribeads.com
    Handmade Paper Beads, made from recycled paper by a Ugandan co-operative based around Kampala.

    The second one was also beads from Africa but can no longer find them, sorry.

    Not sure there is a big market for fair trade beads in the UK, otherwise you'll find them a lot easier. Does the jewellery made with such beads sell well?
    Bead Shop, 91 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, Preston, PR1 0QB, Lancashire. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-3pm.

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    • #3
      Thanks, I'll check out the link!

      Er, actually i have no idea whether it sells well but i guess i would just feel better about it.
      I think there is a certain market for fair trade stuff in general so if i could say for certain the beads are fair trade it might help sell things maybe...
      i guess it depends who you are selling to.

      Newcastle Upon Tyne where I do a lot of my selling has a sort of fair trade inititive: http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/core.nsf/a/fairtradecity
      and I also do the occasional green type festival where you have to state on application how green/recycled/fairly-traded your products/materials are so it helps to get a stall if know these kind of things.

      portfolio: www.suzielda.co.uk

      buy online: www.mooart.com

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      • #4
        Wow looking through the mzuribeads website makes me want to make beads myself! I guess at least then I'll know where the beads come from!
        I've been inspired! Thanks!

        Also I just realised I came across your just beads website a couple of times whilst surfing! It's very nice!

        portfolio: www.suzielda.co.uk

        buy online: www.mooart.com

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        • #5
          just remembered that a lady at a bead fair was selling beads made out of recycled glass from bottles, limited colour range per default, but she had some interesting stuff. Maybe you could look into the technique on how to make beads out of glass bottles?
          The lady in question didn't have a website, that I remember.
          Bead Shop, 91 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, Preston, PR1 0QB, Lancashire. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-3pm.

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          • #6
            Hi

            I use beads from Uganda too, they are lovely and have been very popular!

            They are from www.beadforlife.org and I get them from America.


            I also got some from a great company in Holland. The man Jelle is very helpful and good at English!

            http://www.operationhandinhand.nl/be...202008-eng.htm

            good luck
            Harriet

            www.seasparkle.co.uk


            www.thechildrensjewellerycompany.co.uk

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            • #7
              You could always use beads made by British lampworkers. Can't get much fairer trade than that - and you'd be supporting our own struggling craft industry!
              george
              www.mizgeorge.co.uk
              www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
              www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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              • #8
                I was actually quite surprised by the fact that no one had said about all HANDMADE is surely fairtrade when the material have been sourced locally etc. Fimo beads can be quite beautiful as can ceramic and as Mizgorge said Lampwork beads.

                Handmade that include componants from china etc are the ones that you are trying to avoid maybe??
                Rach

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                Folksy

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                • #9
                  I don't mean to be contraversial but,
                  although handmade beads etc from the UK have their place and ofcourse we are all trying to make a living, surely you cannot think our need is greater than the people that some of these great projects support?!? There is room in our market for all.

                  A definition of fair trade:-

                  Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair Trade Organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. Fair Trade products are produced and traded in accordance with these principles — wherever possible verified by credible, independent assurance systems
                  Harriet

                  www.seasparkle.co.uk


                  www.thechildrensjewellerycompany.co.uk

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                  • #10
                    Of course I'm very happy to support british craft workers!

                    I didn't mean to be controversial i guess I'm just trying to make sure that I know where the beads I'm using have come from and if I'm making profit (haha! hopefully!! maybe!) out of using them I would like to know that they have been ethically sourced and that i am not perpetuating any mis-treatment of individuals along the way. i realise in this global trading environment that's a little hopeful but I can only try my best...

                    I've had a part time job recently sorting through a lot of jewellery/beads for a shop I've worked in previously and it came from all over the world and some of it made me more than a little uncomfortable. we had a particular problem with receiving a significant number of bracelets and particularly rings which were too small on fit on anyone's wrists/fingers. This made me highly uncomfortable as it was fairly obvious that whoever was making them was either incredibly thin or more likely given the sizes was a child. Personally if it had been my shop I'd have felt obliged to investigate my sources a little more.

                    I just feel more comfortable knowing what I'm buying and where it came from - whether handcrafted here or abroad. Thanks for all the replies guys!

                    portfolio: www.suzielda.co.uk

                    buy online: www.mooart.com

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                    • #11
                      Well I'm happy to be controversial!

                      Originally posted by hdflred View Post
                      Hi

                      I use beads from Uganda too, they are lovely and have been very popular!

                      They are from www.beadforlife.org and I get them from America.
                      These are lovely, but if you're buying them in the US, they have crossed the Atlantic twice before you use them - from an ethical point of view, those 'bead miles' have undone a lot of the good you've done in buying them sadly. I buy my paper beads in the UK.

                      On a general note, I see a lot of tokenism going on with fair trade products in every area. It's one thing to offer the occasional product - our supermarkets are very good at this (especially with things like coffee and chocolate that have a feelgood factor) - and another to try to live in a more ethical or environmentally sensitive way. Which means thinking a little harder about all the products we use.

                      For my own work, I don't specifically look for fair trade logos, but I do prefer to use Karen Hill Tribe silver (if I'm not making my own findings), and I try to avoid gemstones of uncertain provenance - especially those from areas where the profits from sale may be funding terrorism, or where child or slave labour has been involved in their mining. I will continue to use up those I already have, but I'm not buying any more unless I can be sure about where they've come from.

                      I try also not to operate the dual standard of claiming to think ethically, and then buying the cheapest possible goods, which have almost invariably been mass produced by some of the worst offenders in terms of environmental damage and human rights offences.

                      Oops. It's getting a bit draughty up on this soapbox
                      george
                      www.mizgeorge.co.uk
                      www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
                      www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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                      • #12
                        I agree with all that you have said George, of course it is not ideal to buy beads from America, but by doing so I am doing a very little bit to support these ladies in Uganda.

                        I am not trying to solve the worlds emmisions problems, I see these as 2 different issues.
                        Harriet

                        www.seasparkle.co.uk


                        www.thechildrensjewellerycompany.co.uk

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                        • #13
                          hi, the link Bea gave me earlier on in this thread
                          http://www.mzuribeads.com/
                          seems to be a UK based supplier of Uganda paper beads made by a womens collective which i assume is a similar set up to the american "beadforlife"

                          portfolio: www.suzielda.co.uk

                          buy online: www.mooart.com

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